Black Swan (2011) - Review (no spoilers!)
Is this movie receiving praise like Donnie Darko, Fight Club and Shutter Island? If not, it better be - quickly!
Terrifying, fear inducing
Black Swan had me sweating, (softly) screaming and sinking into the seat. Our protagonist Nina is shy, fragile and a quiet, yet ambitious dancer on a noisy stage. Watching her interact with loud, powerful and uncalculatable characters is uncomfortable at its own. Add a shaky, hand captured camera movement and receive a crawling paranoia in each of Ninas interactions (“no don’t go there you’ll get hurt!”). Include unreliable narrative, quick cuts, some CGI and experience terror that is rather unexpected from a “Drama, Thriller”. Part of the editing is reminiscent of director Darren Aronofsky previous work “Requiem for a Dream”.
To put plain, Black Swan had me like “OMG WHAT IS HAPPENING, PLEASE STOP”. It was a shocking, frightening, simply physical experience - “Viewer discretion advised”.
Can you trust anyone?
Ladies first: Nina has a strained relation with her mother Erica (Barbara Hershey). I found myself putting a label on her just to replace it the next time. “Manipulative, caring, obsessed, supportive” - who’s to tell? Humans are complex and so was she.
Lily (portrayed by Mila Kunis) was scary. What’s her goal? Is she helping? Can we trust her? Many questions with few answers - just as we like it!
At least Ninas boss Thomas (Vincent Cassal) didn’t leave me panicking. He’s on a fine line between inspiration and abuse, but he does balance well.
Fun fact: I was pleased to find out that Heathers star Winona Ryder is on board!
I can’t remember the last time a movie took me one a ride such as Black Swan did (actually I do, it was The Lodge). Most definitely give it a watch if you like mysterious movies like Donnie Darko, Fight Club and Shutter Island (the list goes on).
Take notice that Black Swan is highly thrilling unlike the rather “calm” examples I mentioned - finally a movie that pays its genre tribute!